There are new repayment obligations for people with a HELP or TSL debt who are living and working overseas.
These overseas repayment arrangements apply to the following study loan schemes: HECS-HELP, FEE-HELP, OS-HELP and SA-HELP. They also apply to VET FEE-HELP, VET Student Loans for vocational education and training and Trade Support Loans (TSL) for apprenticeships.
If your worldwide income is above the minimum repayment threshold (A$54,869 in 2016-2017 and A$55,874 in 2017-18), you will need to make repayments based on this income – the same as you would if you were in Australia.
When do the new obligations start?
The obligations are in place now. From 1 July 2017, you will need to work out your worldwide income for the 2016-17 income year and report this information to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). You can lodge online using ATO online services via myGov or through a registered Australian tax agent.
Your income details are due by 31 October each year if you are not using a registered Australian tax agent, the same way as tax returns of Australian residents.
What do I need to do next?
The first step is to notify the ATO before you travel, or within 7 days of leaving Australia, if you intend to move overseas for 183 days or more in any 12 month period. 183 days equates to around six months.
To notify the ATO, you must have a myGov account which will need to be linked to the ATO’s online services. See how to create an account here. The ATO website also has information about the online services: www.ato.gov.au/online.
If you already live overseas, make sure you notify the ATO of your contact details no later that 1 July 2017 if you haven’t done so already.
For further information on the changes to HELP repayment obligations, see the: